Interior Silence in a Very Noisy World...

A few thoughts on something that is seldom talked about - interior silence. Many of us appreciate the times when all is quiet and we can enjoy a few moments of relative silence giving us opportunity to go within, to think, to feel, to be more aware. When this happens and for some it happens on a regular , daily basis, it is very good. But what about those moments, which can be many, when we cannot avoid the noisiness of the world around us? What then? Is it possible to find that tranquil island within ?
As I sat in my morning quiet time today it was anything but quiet. Outside I could hear workmen drilling, sawing, hammering, and chit-chatting away. Feeling a bit annoyed and momentarily murderous, I was about to give up and postpone my "quiet time" until later in the day when Wally the Workman was done and quiet was restored. At that moment a story came to mind. Do you know this story? It's about St. Bruno and the frogs. It goes something like this:

Once St. Bruno, who was a very devote man, was beginning to pray when he heard the croaking of frogs in a nearby pond. The croaking was disturbing to Bruno who was finding it difficult to concentrate on his prayer so he did something to silence the frogs. Being a very holy man he was able to speak to animals and they understood. So, he raised his voice in one loud command and ordered the frogs to be quiet. They obeyed. When Bruno returned to his praying he was now disturbed by the thought that maybe God enjoyed the croaking of frogs. " Ridiculous", he said. But the disturbing thought remained and grew stronger. Finally Bruno could bear it no longer . He lifted up his voice and apologized to the frogs for his insensitivity and invited them to begin to croak again. This they did with even greater enthusiasm and vocal display. When Bruno returned to his prayer this time , he welcomed the frogs croaking as part of it all and smiled. He realized something. " Everything belongs ", he thought.

This little story reminds me that in our often noisy world we can find interior silence by welcoming everything, even the croaking frogs in our life. With Bruno, we can remember that " Everything belongs."

Stefan Andre

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